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A warm summer evening is perfectly paired with a cool and refreshing cocktail. Drinks International 2019 conducted research across bartenders around the globe, concluding that the top 5 best selling cocktails to wow your friends with are in fact found in the foundations of great mixology. 

While exotic pairings, unusual flavours and experimental combinations enjoy their time, the best selling classics are here to stay. Impress your guests with your mixology skills, getting everyone in to the party spirit with these top 5 classic recipes.


A blend of rye, bourbon or whisky with bitters and vermouth garnished with a maraschino cherry and a twist of lemon. A whisky lovers favourite that dates back to the 19th century.

2oz (60ml) of your chosen whisky
½oz (15ml) of sweet vermouth
½oz (15ml) of dry vermouth
2 dashes of bitters
Ice cubes
Twist of lemon or brandied cherry

Mix well with ice then strain into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist or brandied cherry.


Made famous by Floridita’s bar in Cuba and a firm favourite of Ernest Hemingway. A simple mix of rum, sugar and lime make for a straight up summer cooler that’s earthy and tart.

2oz (60ml) your chosen white rum
½oz (15ml) lime juice
½oz (15ml) sugar syrup (dissolve 1:1 sugar to water)
Ice cubes

Shake with ice then serve straight up, strained into a chilled cocktail glass.

Whiskey Sour

A classic combination of bourbon or rye, sugar and lemon juice served on the rocks with the addition of egg white and a swirl of bitters. Simple, sophisticated and deliciously sharp.

2oz (60ml) of bourbon or rye
¾oz (20ml) fresh lemon juice
¾oz (20ml) sugar syrup (dissolve 1:1 sugar to water)
1 fresh egg white
2 dashes of bitters
Ice cubes
Orange slice and maraschino cherry

Add the ingredients and shake without ice to form a froth. Add ice cubes and shake again then strain into a lowball tumbler over ice. Swirl dots of bitters into the top and serve with a slice of orange and maraschino cherry.


A popular Italian cocktail, the Negroni packs some punch with equal measures of good gin, sweet vermouth and Campari garnished with orange peel. A simple but balanced aperitif.

2oz (60ml) dry gin
¾oz (20ml) fresh lemon juice
2oz (60ml) vermouth rosso
1 fresh egg white
2oz (60ml) Campari
Ice cubes
Twist of orange peel

Shake the ingredients well with ice then strain over ice into a lowball tumbler, served with a twist of orange peel.

Old Fashioned

There’s nothing more classic than the American favourite, number one seller and poll topper for the fifth year running. Dress up your favourite whisky with bitters, sugar, an orange slice and plenty of ice.

2oz (60ml) your favourite whisky
oz (15ml) sugar syrup (dissolve 1:1 sugar to water)
2 dashes of bitters
Ice cubes
2 slices of orange and a maraschino cherry

Stir the ingredients together then pour over ice cubes into an ‘old fashioned’ lowball tumbler. Serve with a peel of orange and a maraschino cocktail cherry.

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